Innovative and Collaborative Solution
How does the initiative show evidence of feasibility, including on-going financial and logistical support?
One of the key fundamental outcomes achieved since 2018, is an increase of our city’s green canopy cover – an incredible achievement given the development and growth rate of the city. This outcome is independently verified through the Greener Spaces Better Places network (https://www.greenerspacesbetterplaces.com.au/), who have prepared an annual report in relation to their 202020 Vision program titled “Where will the trees be?” (https://www.greenerspacesbetterplaces.com.au/guides/where-will-all-the-trees-be/).
This report is based on their national benchmarking research of green cover in Australian suburbs and cities which looks at which places are gaining green cover and why. Highlights from their 2019/2020 report include: (refer below)
A special mention is made to Logan City Council (refer Page 34 – 35) identifying Logan City Council (QLD) as the best on ground Council (suburban category), recording a significant increase in green cover alongside population and increase in hard space. The report showcases our Bahrs Scrub land acquisitions and our conservation covenants.
This is the third annual report they have prepared; previous reports are available at:
In what ways is the initiative innovative?
To achieve these outcomes, a range of innovative strategies, polices were developed including:
- Climate Change Resilience Strategy with the strategic vision: That Logan City Council, and our city’s environment, community, and economy, will be resilient to the impacts of a variable and changing climate. During community consultation this strategy received over 300 community comments. This feedback showed strong support for the Strategy. Focusing on shared responsibility, education, business support and balancing the growth of our city with the impacts on the natural environment, including how we’re addressing the city’s carbon emissions.
- Natural Environment Strategy – outlines how we will balance growth and development with our natural environment while meeting the challenges of a changing climate. It provides a road map to ensure The City of Logan’s natural environment is protected, enhanced, connected, and celebrated to provide valued spaces for people, plants and animals now and into the future.
- Environmental Conservation Partnerships Policy and Program – Supports the protection, maintenance and enhancement of our natural environment, ecological corridors and waterways through a network of focused community partnerships and targeted private land conservation initiatives.
- Environmental Management Planning Scheme Policy – includes an innovative environmental offset process that achieves a net gain on trees in the ground where vegetation clearing is unavoidable through development. Council has already planted over 77,000 trees funded by the development industry and has achieved a net growth in green canopy across the city over the last couple of years.
How is the initiative supported by collaborative working across disciplines and sectors?
In developing our vision, and these strategies, plans and policies, extensive community and professional consultation and engagement was undertaken. This included:
- Community City Visioning process – a city wide community city vision process which put our community at the heart of our future decision-making by creating a shared vision. The Logan Community Vision was developed over a ten-month period, from September 2020 to June 2021. The Logan Community Vision statement, themes, actions and ideas guide and influence how we deliver programs and services in the short, medium and long-term.
- Professional and cross discipline engagement – a 6 week process where engagement and consultation through working groups, meetings and correspondence/communications with professional groups including civil and environmental engineers, health professionals, town planners, architects, ecologists, social planners, compliance and development assessment professionals.
- Public ‘Have Your Say’ community consultation – each strategy was on Council’s have your say platform, where it was open for comment to the public and community. Promotion included social media, posts, local newspapers, and media releases.
- Professional and community participation during the engagement phases has been extremely positive with high participation and engagement rates achieved.
LCC also recognizes the importance of community partnerships in achieving our vision and building climate change resilience – which led to the enhancement of our Environmental Conservation Partnerships – a program that provides private landholders incentives to conserve and enhance bushland and trees on their own properties.